Thursday, November 08, 2012

Today, I had an epiphany

[In] finding your True Self, you will have found an absolute reference point that is both utterly within you and utterly beyond you at the very same time. This grounds the soul in big and reliable truth. “My deepest me is God!” St. Catherine of Genoa shouted as she ran through the streets of town, just as Colossians had already shouted to both Jews and pagans, “The mystery is Christ within you—your hope of Glory!” (1:27).

The healthy inner authority of the True Self can now be balanced by a more objective outer authority of Scripture and mature Tradition. Your experience is not just your experience, in other words. That’s what tells you that you are not crazy. That God is both utterly beyond me and yet totally within me at the same time is the exquisite balance that most religion seldom achieves, in my opinion. Now the law is written on both tablets of stone (Exodus 31.18) and within your heart (Deuteronomy 29.12-14), and the old covenant has rightly morphed into the new (Jeremiah 31.31-34).

Richard Rohr, excerpted from Immortal Diamond: the Search for Our True Self (due for publication February 2013)

Today, I had an epiphany. At least, I suppose that’s a reasonable way to describe it, since I can’t think of another word…

I was looking, as it happened, at one of those red emergency call pulls, a red nylon cord with a dangling triangular, red, translucent plastic handle, when I realised that God was in everything—not just in some theoretical, theological way, but actually, tangibly present. Not, you understand, that everything is God, but that he is there, as much as there is space between the subatomic particles of all matter.

More than that, God is at the very heart of all that is, living and true, alive—oh, so gloriously alive—and that that life is love itself. More than that, it is the love of God in Christ that holds us, saves us, builds a bridge between our frail and temporary lives and that measureless permanence that gives to the interstellar chasms their being, as much as to a little red plastic emergency call pull, and to me.

Paul says there is “one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4.6) and that Christ “himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together…” (Colossians 1.17)

That is how it was. I have read and re-read these words in the New Testament, and they have been only words. Today, in a small red plastic triangle, they were plain experience, nothing more.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner…


  1. I think that's always the most striking part, to see that God is equally present in banalities, not just in special things. We seem inclined to think the universe is like a Swiss cheese, with God absent from certain places or events or things we don't consider particularly God-worthy. As if we are the ones who get to say how God is and what He should do. As if God wanders off to have a beer while we watch television, and then comes back when we say our bedtime prayers.

    Recognizing true always-already-ever-presentness, is there anything at all that is not vibrantly embraced in infinite mercy, love, forgiveness and joy?

  2. Beautifully put, Ona! Of course there isn't anything at all that isn't embraced, loved, held in that indefatigable mercy. And that is the most wonderful thing you can ever realise, as far as I can see!